Organizing eyeglasses

My husband and I have five pairs of eyeglasses between us. Since we have a toddler who loves to pull glasses off your face without a moment’s notice, the multiple pairs have become necessary. (When my son was five months old, we learned the hard way that having a backup pair is a very good idea.)

As a result, we’ve been looking for an organized way to store our multiple pairs of glasses. We have decided to get a display stand that one might usually see on a counter in an eyeglasses shop:

We’re setting the display on our bedroom dresser so we will also have a place to safely store our glasses overnight and make them easy to find first thing in the morning.

Because glasses are much less expensive than they used to be (thank you, Internet!) it’s becoming more common for people to have multiple styles of frames, the way they might have a few belts or purses. If you’re in this group of owning multiple pairs of glasses, an eyeglass shop display stand might be a good organizing tool for you, too.

Do you use a different organizing method for storing your eyeglasses? Give us your tips in the comments.

31 Comments for “Organizing eyeglasses”

  1. posted by InfoMofo on

    I saw this in an apartment therapy house tour a while back and thought it was really cool, and doesn’t take up as much space as one of the racks you have in the post.


    It’s actually a repurposed postcard holder! I love how it looks like a dreamcatcher or something.

  2. posted by Lydia on

    Love this idea! I am currently looking for another spare pair of glasses (I have a 4 year old and a 7 month old) but didn’t know you could order them online. Can you recommend a good website to order eyeglasses from?

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @InfoMofo — Wow! That is really terrific. Thank you for the link.

    @Lydia — There are hundreds of online retailers now. A simple Google search for “eyeglass frames” will return many helpful results.

  4. posted by Jacquie on

    Don’t think I’d like those eyes looking at me all night, it’s a bit spooky.

    I have three pairs (but no toddler, phew), one for driving, one for reading (and these I wear nearly all the time indoors,) and an extra strong pair for my lacemaking.

    Of the first two pairs I am virtually always wearing one or the other, and the pair I’m not wearing is (theoretically) in a case in my current bag. That way, when I go out still in my reading ones, there’s a good chance I have taken the others with me. And when I get home, I am likely to take my indoor ones indoors.

    My lace glasses live with my lacemaking stuff.

    That’s how it is supposed to work, but about every three or four days I am searching for one pair or other. So whatever you use to store them doesn’t work unless you put them there.

  5. posted by Battra92 on

    My spare pairs are usually in a case in my sock drawer. Not all that glamorous but it gets the job done.

    Lifehacker had a good article a while back ( )
    and I can vouch for I have prismatic lenses due to double vision so getting cheap glasses has been a godsend to me. has them under $20 but I’ve never used them so I can’t vouch for them.

  6. posted by Jeri Dansky on

    Here’s another option for storing the eyeglasses:

  7. posted by Caroline on

    @Erin, that looks an awful lot like a Unitasker. All it does is display eyeglasses. Do you really need your glasses to be on display in order to be readily available?

  8. posted by Karen on

    I agree with Caroline. Also, it is not a good idea to have your glasses exposed to dust, and potential harm. I’d probably knock it over, or bang something into the glasses.

    IMO, a better solution is to keep your spares in cases, protected from dust and damage, and in a drawer (obviously one not accessible to the toddler! That’s what I do. I am legally blind without my glasses (think 20/8000 vision), and would never have my glasses out on display like that.

  9. posted by Kari on

    Our cats love to take pairs of glasses, so each pair goes in a glasses case and then is stored by where used (nightstand, car, whatever).

  10. posted by Amanda on

    Although I wear contacts, I do have a thing for sunglasses. I store them on a mirrored tray on a sidetable. None of them are worth more than $10 because I have a tendency to leave them everywhere else (my car, boyfriend’s car, parents’ house, friends’ house). And the cosmos seems to return them all at one time. Very weird. The sidetable location serves me well as its between the front and back door and next to the couch where my purse lives when it’s not of my shoulder.

    One exception are the ones I use for biking, they are in my biking helmet.

  11. posted by Molly on

    I can vouch for Zenni (wearing my $25 pair right now, which includes the anti-glare coating, a pair of sunglass clips, and shipping). I keep my extra pair on my nightstand.

  12. posted by Java Monster on

    But…what about adjusting the frames? What about the distance between the pupils? Not all prescribing optometrists are willing to give that simple information away. Even with VSP insurance which covers glasses, they’re still a couple hundred bucks,without all the extra lens coatings that you can get.

    I wouldn’t want my glasses on display. It’s incredibly dusty in my area, kids are always getting into my stuff-they look great for a display in an office-but honestly, why not just use something protective, like a case, to keep them from getting scratched and dusty? But that’s me.

  13. posted by Bethany on

    I agree with the unitasker comment. It seems like an awfully big unnecessary item to me. I’d much rather come up with another solution than spend $50 on a display stand that’s a bit of an eyesore. I don’t see why they can’t just be stored away in their cases in drawers or a box of some sort, or hung up on hooks somewhere.

  14. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Caroline — Something isn’t a unitasker if it has utility. A toilet, fire extinguisher, and clothes dresser, each only has one purpose. Something is only a unitasker if it doesn’t serve a function for your life or if it doesn’t do that function well. A storage product is rarely going to have more than a specific function, and is therefore a single-purpose item (assuming you use it regularly) instead of a unitasker.

  15. posted by Karen on

    kari, I used to have a cat who would wake me up in the morning to get her breakfast by knocking my glasses off the nightstand onto the floor. She was very smart, because when I got wise and started putting my glasses in the nighstand drawer she would paw at the drawer to try to open it (and sometimes succeeded).

  16. posted by Steve on

    @ Erin – everything you’ve ever posted as a unitasker has utility. It may be an extremely narrow utility, but it’s still utility. In the unitasker posts, the point generally seems to be that the unitasker’s function could be accomplished just as well with something you already own and so the unitasker is just unnecessary clutter. That said, in some cases the unitasker may add some tiny bit of functionality; the mayo knife to get the mayo out of the bottom of the jar, for example. Yes, a butter knife works fine, but the mayo knife may actually get a little bit more out for you. I think your glasses rack is actually a step backwards from simply storing the glasses safely in their cases, and therefore to me, this would be the worst sort of unitasker possible – something that does only one thing, costs a considerable amount of money, and actually does a worse job than the thing you already have (the cases for the glasses).

  17. posted by Katha on

    I would also have doubts about having all the glasses exposed to dust. Plus, with my awesome powers of coordination, I am sure I would tip that thing over in the morning when grabbing one pair of glasses. And in your situation: Your son might like to try that on purpose in a year or two…;^)

    My glasses (four of them) are in their cases, and the cases (stood on their end) in one of these:

    But you could really use any box or planting pot or…

    Cheap sunglasses can be hung over the edge of the receptacle (one temple arm on the inside).

  18. posted by Katha on

    Oh, and for short-term storage (one pair of glasses over night or in the bathroom), I set them on one of these
    (Doorstoppers shaped like rubber worms, which, incidentally, I got for 10% of the price of this eBay auction…)

    The worms are about as wide as my nose.

  19. posted by Jay on

    I store extra glasses in glasses cases in my sock drawer. I wear my main pair almost every day, and the others are merely backups. Erin’s solution might work best for someone who alternates glasses often and wants all the glasses available quickly and easily.

  20. posted by Jude on

    I have no desire to own extra glasses. When my kids were little, I bought frames that could withstand twisting, so I had no broken frames to worry about. I could never keep track of multiple glasses. It’s hard enough to keep track of the ones that live on my face.

  21. posted by Tiffany on

    For those of you wondering about buying glasses online, I highly recommend the blog that guy has a ratings system for various retailers, keeps track of the good sales and discount codes, and is generally indespensible. It’s not that hard to take your own pupillary distance, and most optometrists don’t ask where you got your glasses if you walk in off the street and need an adjustment.

    The guy also has an interesting way of storing his glasses- he stretches a cord/cable under a shelf and hangs them off it by their earpieces.

  22. posted by Melanie on

    Why would you tolerate letting your child pull your glasses off your face?

    That’s a poked eye waiting to happen.

  23. posted by Molly on

    @Java Monster – You can usually walk into an eyeglass shop, and they will adjust frames for you. Very carefully measuring a pair that fits you well is key. Also, if you find an old prescription with pupillary distance, it will still work – that number does not change. And you are legally allowed to take your entire prescription, including your PD number, after paying for an eye exam.

  24. posted by Gayle on

    I own about 15 pair. My script has not changed in years and I love my glasses. I have also found Zenni Optical to be great. When it was clear I needed a better way I sewed an eye glass holder. Simple with a retangle of scrap cloth and some ribbons sewn to the edges horizontally, a few tacks in the middle and I hang my glasses from the ribbons by the arms of my glasses. I take one look in the morning to figure out whcih pair I’m going to wear today. It hangs just inside my bed room door so it’s easy to hang them back up before bed.

  25. posted by Louise on

    I store my glasses in a zippered fabric pouch that lives in my medicine cabinet. It holds about 10 pairs.

    @JavaMonster: Pupillary distance is very easy to measure for yourself. It is simply the distance, in millimeters, between the centers of your pupils. Looking in the mirror while holding a small ruler across your nose works fine, or you can have a friend do it for you.

    I have ordered glasses from and and been very happy with both companies. I have both single vision and Progressive bifocals from both. I am picky, too. One pair wasn’t quite right because I didn’t pay close enough attention to the frame’s measurements and so they were too tight. But since I paid $15 for them, I simply donated them to the Lyon’s club and moved on. I figure at that price, I can afford to discard 20 pairs before they begin to cost as much as a standard optician’s prices…

  26. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Melanie — Most babies don’t have developed pincher grasps until around 48 weeks (11 months old). Until that point (and often for months after) many children will grab onto glasses simply because that is where their hand landed, as they do not yet have fully developed muscular control. You HAVE to tolerate a baby grabbing at your glasses because it’s going to happen whether you want it to or not. Additionally, you cannot control or modify this behavior in a baby because they do not have the physical means to alter their actions.

  27. posted by Stefanie on

    I’m a fan of Zenni Optical as an online store as well. They have a great selection and excellent prices. The only drawback is 2-3 weeks waiting time, but the savings in price is well worth the wait.

    I’ve also had good customer service with them – when a pair of glasses were smaller than I expected, I sent them back and got 50% refund – not bad for $15 glasses.

  28. posted by Rachelskirts on

    This article comes at the perfect time! Over the past two summers, I have collected a set of four or five pairs of beautiful (but totally inexpensive) sunglasses. I wear them all regularly, but I’ve been at a loss for how to store them. I think a display rack like this could be the perfect solution.

  29. posted by Katrina on

    I love ZENNI Optical. I have about 6 pairs of glasses. For $8 – $20 per pair + $5 shipping no matter how many pairs you get – I look at them as my accessories! It is less expensive than jewelry – even costume jewelry. I love having this versatility. If I have to wear glasses – and I do, like someone else said “I’m basically legally blind” – why not make the most of it and “LIKE” my glasses and match them to my outfit. I have an eye glass holder that I purchased on ebay several years ago for less than $15 (including shipping) that is a similar to the small ones that they have in optometrist offices. I keep it on a shelf in my bathroom closet. Each night, I put the pair that I’m wearing on the nightstand. Each morning, I put that pair on til I get ready and then I decide what I’m wearing that day, pick the glasses to go with it and then put the ones I’d had on in their space on “holder” works well for me. This is similar to the one I have:

  30. posted by gypsy packer on

    The bifocal sunglasses stay in the car, in case I forget and wear my computer glasses outside. Computer glasses go in the drink holder on my treadmill/desk when not in use, are switched out with Transitions bifocals when I’m using the computer. My old prescription bifocals stay in the travel case.
    I keep a 1930’s planter on the nightstand to hold my glasses while I sleep. Yup, it’s a unitasker.

  31. posted by Natalie in West Oz on

    Erin, my son broke quite a few of my pairs of glasses between 1 yr and 4 yrs of age and even now, at 6 yrs, he will go to my bag when I’m not looking, take them out of their case and try them on. He just loves them. Nothing I tried saved my glasses but then Spec savers came to town so I got two pairs for $200 (a bargain since my other pairs cost around $400 each) and my son hasnt broken any since!!! Must be only the expensive ones he was really interested in : )

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